“Obama” grilled pork noodles in Hanoi with Italian customers

(VOVWORLD) - It has been more than 3 years since former US President Barack Obama had bun cha (grilled pork noodles) with late celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain in Huong Lien restaurant at 24 Le Van Huu street, Hanoi. Ever since, the restaurant has been dubbed as the “Obama” grilled pork noodle restaurant, jam-packed with locals, expats, and tourists. Let’s head to the restaurant to find out what Sara Drago, an Italian tourist, thinks about her very first lunch of the Hanoian authentic grilled pork noodles.

“Obama” grilled pork noodles in Hanoi with Italian customers - ảnh 1 US President Barack Obama & late celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain have bun cha in Huong Lien Restaurant in 2016 (Photo: Instagram)

Reporter : So Sara, here we are at the Huong Lien restaurant!

Sara : Yeah! So Obama was here in this place?

Reporter: That’s right! You can see several photos of him having Bun Cha with late chef Anthony Bourdain hung on the wall. The owner even turned the exact table and chairs where the pair sat into a mini-museum exhibit, protected in floor-to-ceiling glass casing, right over there! So, what do you want to have? Take a look at the menu.

Sara: I don’t know. This kind of food is really different from Italian food.

Reporter: I would highly recommend the Obama combo which includes bun cha, a seafood roll, and a Hanoi beer.
Sara: In bun cha, do you have noodles?
Reporter: Yep. Ah, I remembered you had Pho beef noodle soup yesterday. Well, Pho is served in a bowl of rice noodles in clear beef broth and thin cuts of beef. But for Bun Cha, the rice noodles and vegetables including lettuce and other Vietnamese herbs  arrive on their own plate. The grilled pork meat is put in a small bowl, swimming in prepared dipping sauce of vinegar, fish sauce, sugar, water, pepper, chilly, and garlic, which altogether creates salty, sour, sweet, and hot flavors. The pickled carrot and green papaya are added on top of the bowl of meat.

Sara: Ok. What is in the fried seafood roll?
Reporter: It’s made of  lean minced pork, crab, shrimp, mushrooms, dried onions, chicken eggs, pepper, salt and different kinds of seasoning. All ingredients are mixed thoroughly before being wrapped in rice paper into small rolls. These rolls are then fried in  oil. The  rolls are usually garnished with fresh lettuce and herbs. Have you ever had it before?
Sara: No, no, no. I have never seen it. And what kind of beer is this?
Reporter: Here we have Hanoi beer. Hanoi is the name of the capital city of Vietnam that we are in. Hanoi beer is a very popular brand of beer in Vietnam.
Sarah: In Italy we drink a lot of wine.

Reporter: So you have wine when you eat pizza and pasta?
Sara: With pizza we drink beer but with pasta sometimes we drink wine. White wine or red wine, we love wine.
Reporter: It’s 12 noon and the 3-storey restaurant is packed with customers. But they serve super quickly! We just ordered about 5 minutes ago and 2 Obama combos are already here! Sara, let’s try it and let me know what you think. You can eat this by building each bite in your personal bowl. If you want to, you can put some chili, ground garlic, and pepper in the dipping sauce.
Sara: It’s really good!
Reporter: What do you think about the meat?
Sara: I think it’s really soft!
Reporter: Enjoy it!
Sara: It’s very good! It’s one of the best dishes I have tried until now. It’s really good!
In Italy we have very similar meat but we put in on  bread like a hamburger. We eat it with tomato and salad and cheese.

Reporter: In the dipping sauce, you can see 2 kinds of pickled vegetables, one is carrot and the other one is green papaya.

Sara: Do you have Bun Cha for breakfast, too?
Reporter: We have this for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner. The restaurant opens at 8 am until 9 pm every day. The fried seafood roll is so crispy, isn’t it?

Sara: Mmm, it’s really good. It’s a good idea to put meat and seafood inside the roll! 

Reporter: So Sara, what do you think? Will you come here again?

Sara: I’m really full and so happy. I will come back here with my friends from Italy. Thank you very much for this lunch.

Reporter: You’re welcome! Cheers!